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These Next Six Games Through Mid-March Critical For Newcastle And Rafa’s Future

It was about this time last year that Newcastle started to win some games, and we pulled away and were helped by winning four games in in a row from early March through mid-April.

We beat Southampton, Huddersfield, Leicester, and Arsenal before losing our next four games to Everton, West Brom, Watford, and Tottenham.

You talk about up and down results.

We finished off the season in the next game with a terrific 3-0 win at home to Chelsea to end the season on a high note in 10th place in the league and 123M from the Premier League.

Things are starting to look similar this year with Dummett, Ki, Diame, and Shelvey all expected back from injury soon, and Muto returning from Asian Cup duty with Japan – so we should be able to field a stronger side.

And Newcastle have two new signings – Miguel Almiron and Antonio Barreca – who will get playing time from Rafa almost immediately – maybe at Wolves next Monday night.

Federico Fernandez and new boy Antonio Barreca in training last week

We have six games to play through the mid-March and then a 16 day break before we play Arsenal at the Emirates.

Here are the next seven fixtures and the games through mid-March will be so defining for our season.

Mon 11 Feb   Wolves vs Newcastle            8:00pm
Sat 23 Feb   Newcastle vs Huddersfield      3:00pm
Wed 27 Feb   Newcastle vs Burnley           8:00pm
Sat 02 Mar   West Ham vs Newcastle          5:30pm
Sat 09 Mar   Newcastle vs Everton           3:00pm
Sat 16 Mar   Bournemouth  vs Newcastle      3:00pm 
Mon 01 Apr   Arsenal vs Newcastle           8:00pm

They will also be critical to Rafa signing a new deal at the club, and he will only do that when it’s clear we will be a Premier League club next season.

So of the seven games above how many do you think Newcastle can win?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

162 comments so far

  • Oldgit1

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #41

    I honestly believe that miggy will not play in the wolves game, certainly not as a starter. Think Rafa will save him for the more winnable games against Huddersfield, Burnley etc.
    Rafa will go for the same team against Wolves.

  • Just a fan

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #42

    Hated Revie’s leeds
    Still some residue from those days hard to erase.

  • Dragon64

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #43

    how times have changed for the worse 27rs after Keegan and look what we have yes a better manager in Rafa an owner who looks like is staying unless someone come’s in and gives him what he wants????

  • Dragon64

    Feb 5, 2019 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #44

    took me 3 attempts to send last msg because of the f word

  • Legolas

    Feb 5, 2019 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #45

    Acca? I thought that was what my wife went like when I said I was only going out for a few and then rock up at 1 in the morning.

    Talking about bets. I don’t normally as I don’t understand it but the most I won was when I put a bet on Newcastle to win the championship in 2009. We played the first league game at home and I had, had a few beers and went in to ( I think it was ladbrooks around the corner from the ground) and put £40 on. The odds weren’t great 10-1 I think as there had already been a game on the Friday night, Boro I think but the lad was taking the p*ss saying it would never come off. When I went on the last day of season to get my winnings the guy behind counter said this is an old bet. I said your colleague who took it was taking the p*ss saying Newcastle would never win. He said no wonder he is a mackum. Lol.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 5, 2019 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #46

    Win the three home matches in the 7 matches above and we will be ok, anything above 9 points is a bonus and half way (from the present 24 points) to safety.

  • lochinvar

    Feb 5, 2019 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #47


    £100million investment
    Leicester City

    Meanwhile down at Benton a tender has been issued for a new coat of paint.

    Reality is Ashley can’t compete and we need someone who can

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 7:52 PM

    Comment #48

    I cut a Scouser down the other day! It came up how much we’d won, I said four league titles! Ohhh, when was dat? Dey don’t count! How many you won I said, 18 he replied, I said you must only mean 14, no 18, I said the ones prior to 1927 don’t count, you just said so yourself.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #49

    Loch or Linds ,
    The 30M I said spent on the train I g ground was purely hypothetical. Sorry ;(

  • Pain in the Blog

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #50

    Lindy #46,

    I agree that we ought to win at home v Hudds and Burnley. I’m not so sure about Everton so I’ll go for 2 points between them and the two away matches at Wham and Bournemouth. So a total of 8 to your predicted 9.

    Then we should pick up 1 v Palace at home, 3 v Soton at home and at least 4 between v Brighton and Fulham away. There’s 40 points. Home and safe. Robert is your mother’s brother. As Geordie 2 might say, ‘Huzzah’.

  • Online Guy

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #51

    Hello Jail

    See you had a sly pop at me yesterday..You tried to play me off to a fellow writer that I consider to be a freind and a good bloke..not cricket Jail.

    You gave that some thought before you wrote it ..I know what I’ll do ! . Devious !

    Today your telling Norfolk …who wrote a very good post by the way , to keep his comments short. That’s rich that is .

    Anyway heres some advice from your uncle Online , look in the mirror.

    Jail, the Blog Sentinel .

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #52

    Jail, I’m torn on who I want to win the league between City and Liverpool. I know City would’ve bought it again, but scousers in general will be intolerable if they win it. I remember the 70s and 80s and they boasted and bragged about how great they were – which was true tbf – but they had no grace at all; totally classless.
    At least most city fans my age were there during their bad years and I respect that. I don’t think I could handle Liverpool winning it tbh. Must be worse for you on the rigs. They’re so arrogant! 🙂

  • Online Guy

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #53


    No offence meant .

    Just banter .. just watching.

  • Pain in the Blog

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #54


    Why do you always react when you feel that someone has ‘had a pop’ at you? It happens to all of us all of the time and we just ignore it. Try it. Don’t comment. Don’t react. It makes life so much easier.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #55

    The more posters the merrier
    , but from twelve years blog experience people tend not to read very long posts unless by someone they’ve read before. Because of that someone like Norwich might not get a response to a post he feels like he’s put so much effort into and not post again which is a shame.
    I think I gave the same advice to to RobLeenio, which…..I’s a shame

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #56

    Pain in the blog,
    You are correct

  • Pain in the Blog

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #57

    Bobbybee #52,

    I’m with you. Anybody but the bin dippers. I would prefer Spurs to win for a change but, failing that, I’ll go for Citeh. Like you, I know long-term City fans who would actually like to go back to the old pre-Mansour days.

  • Just a fan

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #58

    Once had fifty quid each way on Newcastle at 50 to 1
    Not a big gambler but had had a couple of wins
    It was when Robson was manager and they ended up in the top three.

  • Online Guy

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #59


    I went through a lot of Guitars yesterday.. after reading your post and beforehand , in that I was checking out what I need and don’t need , thinning the herd out was in forefront of my mind , there’s a few that need tuners replaced they are so old … found a few with faults etc ..gave myself something to think about .

    Anyway ..apart from playing, learning , the Postman Pat theme tune to younger family members and watching Wurzel Gummidge..a trip to Glasgow …nowt else.

    Made a pan of Soup . Canny .

  • Pain in the Blog

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:22 PM

    Comment #60


    I’m purely acoustic and am limited to a couple of guitars. Do you fancy sharing the details of your collection?

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #61

    Pain, that’s why I’d love Rafa, to stay and build his own team simply from the money the club generates. He’s actually getting there on freebies and loanies, but if he could just bring in two or three quality players each window, not from Ashley’s money, from our money – the money from the PL, Sky, ticket sales etc. He could free us from relegation fights and actually challenge for a cup or two.
    That’s his vision. His project and he explained it to Ashley in simple terms even he could grasp, but instead Ashley steals our money and claims we owe him ffs
    I don’t want to buy the league, that’s out of our reach, but he could slowly build a quality side if he just got what he was promised. Ashley’s blind to the potential and just uses is as a piggy bank.
    I don’t even want a mega rich owner, I just want one who’ll allow Rafa leeway to build. 19th richest club, going to waste. Its criminal. And yes, I understand those City fans who’d rather their sugar daddy left. I truly get it.

  • Online Guy

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #62

    Dig n Dig .

    I’m revisiting some of those past gigs ..found myself getting into Foxtrot ..Genesis, via an original double Vinyl album.

    Will dig the Floyd stuff out ..

  • R.I.P Magpie

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #63

    I hope Rafa does not sit Migs for the Wolves game, you can’t ask for 20 million and then not play the player you asked for. I feel he may not start but may get either the second half or 30 minutes depending how the game is going.

    It would be great to see him start, may throw wolves off there game, Rafa may just start him for that reason, we owe them a defeat.

    Come on the Toon, we beat Citeh, let’s get that win.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #64

    Newport giving Boro a right runaround here. 🙂 Shrewsbury beating Wolves as well – 2-1. The joy of the cup. If only…. 🙁

  • Ffsashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #65

    OP no it’s not HIV can you not tell by the belly it’s IVF triplets I think

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #66

    Bobbybee, can you imagine if Churnley and Ashley and Bishop and Barnes and Wise and Carr had of advised to bring in signings early we may have had a cup run

  • bettyswallocks

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #67

    OLG…….. Do you play gigs in a band or are the guitars just a hobby?

  • ashleysmate

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #68

    Dave @37
    Exactly.. I’m 64 now and have always thought of Leeds as my 2nd club… But they were dirty buggers sometimes.
    I remember standing with the leazes end and chanting to jackie Charlton ‘where did you get that f…..g neck… HA. great
    Then the bugger would head one past us from a corner…. Doh!

  • Online Guy

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #69

    Pain, Just the usual… and a few lesser known Guitars from various luthiers .

    Jib ..I have got Sobell ..just forgot where I’d parked it !

  • lesh

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #70

    Online @59

    The Postman Pat theme tune’s about the limit of the mandolin these days!

    Have a look for Celtic Connections episode 1 on the BBC iPlayer – you’ll see Graham Nash looking his age – still doing the business though. Episode 2 features Louden Wainright III….. ditto Nash

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #71

    Jail, he sat down with Rafa, when he first came. Rafa explained his project clearly, which included early signings and Ashley agreed. He told him it wouldn’t cost him a penny because he could do it with the money the club generated. It was all laid out and Ashley agreed to it all.
    Then he totally reneged on the deal. Stole the money. It’s not his, it belongs to NUFC for where we finish in the league. It’s to make us competitive next season. Time the FA, PL and Sky took a stance. I’d be happy if they withheld the money, serve the barsteward right.

  • Online Guy

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #72


    Yes your right

    Iv ignored a lot of people with negative comments this way ..feels good !

    I enjoy banter with Jail ..he starts it ..always ! And I have a pop at his pop

    A retort . Anyway I’m not serious ..I don’t take Jail too serious as he’s ok when you scratch the surface ..we can fall out but it’s quickly forgotten about .

    I’m calling him the blog Sentinel now ..just winding him up in reply ..it’s all harmless fun.

    Got to admit , I do fake offence .. faux outrage in reply to any crap thrown my way.

    It’s a mere Bagatelle.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #73

    Get in Newport! 1-0 v Smoggies. 🙂

  • ashleysmate

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #74

    An aside from footie…
    Does everyone remember their first live concert.. sorry, gig?
    Early 70’s…Atomic Rooster, supported by Nazareth.
    Me and 2 mates in the city Hall 3 rows from the front… didn’t know what to expect… big mistake. Naz came on and nearly demolished the hall they were so loud…. couldn’t hear properly for 3 days after that…. I was just a broken down angel after that…. sorry

  • Pain in the Blog

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:50 PM

    Comment #75

    Bobby #61,

    I totally agree with you. I think that Rafa is actually quite content to slowly build his squad. He is doing it his own way. Every current player now buys into his system and applauds him for it. Each new addition is carefully chosen to do likewise. No prima donnas, no stars.

    But, bit by bit he will achieve his feared counter-attacking team. It’s nearly there and I believe that if he can just squeeze a little bit more out of Ashley each window he will end up with a formidable squad that can realise his ambition of how he wants football played.

    The team, the plan, the vision is now in place. From now on it should just be a matter of upgrading each position.

  • Online Guy

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:51 PM

    Comment #76


    Yes Jail it was probably good advice to Wor Norfolk . Point taken old bean.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #77

    Right, gonna, watch this properly now. Later.

  • Online Guy

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #78


    Thanks for the heads up on Graham .

    You just reminded me of Gram Parsons though ..going to have a listen ..I’m easily led !

  • Online Guy

    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #79

    Betty ,

    All kinds of everything.

  • bettyswallocks

    Feb 5, 2019 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #80

    OLG……….. Come on now don’t be coy. I think there’s a lot more to you than you’re letting on. Give us a clue.


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